Scream Films Inspired By Horrific Real-Life Murders Of 'The Gainesville Ripper'
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Featured Image Credit: Dimension Films
The Scream franchise is back, with the classic horror series being rebooted in 2022 for a whole new set of scares.
But as much as we know (and fear) the Ghostface killer, few of us know that the events of Scream are loosely based on real life events.
Scream writer Kevin Williamson was thought to have been influenced to write the horror series after watching a documentary on Danny Rolling – better known as the Gainesville Ripper – who underwent his reign of terror in 1990.
Rolling became infamous after he broke into Florida university town in August 1990, raping and killing four women and one man.
But Rolling was only caught by a fluke some months later, after his attacks were linked to three murders in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Here’s the brutal true story...
Who was Danny Rolling?
Born in 1954 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Rolling had a rough upbringing with an abusive father. As he grew up, he was regularly in trouble with the law for burglaries, and he found himself struggling to get a job.
When did Danny Rolling start killing people?
In 1989, after losing his job as a waiter in Shreveport, Rolling broke into a house and murdered William Grissom, 55, his daughter Julie, 24, and her eight-year-old nephew, Sean.
Rolling raped Julie before killing her, then washed her body and posed her in a particular way.
Shortly after a fight with his father, Rolling ran away to Gainesville., Florida in 1990, where his killing spree began. Setting up camp in woodlands behind campus living quarters, Rolling would break into university dormitories every night.
Breaking into the home of freshers Christina Powell, 17, and 18-year-old Sonja Larson, the pair were both gagged, raped and stabbed multiple times. Again, Rolling had washed the bodies and posed them in peculiar ways.
He then targeted Christa Hoyt, Manuel Taboada and Tracy Paules, with his usual ritualistic way of killing.
How was Rolling caught?
Two weeks after the Gainesville attacks, Rolling was was arrested for an armed robbery in the nearby town Ocala, and his woodland hideaway was searched.
Initially, police failed to link Rolling with the nearby attacks.
But Shreveport resident Cindy Juracich noticed similarities between all the murders, and then called Crime Stoppers, urging the police to look into Rolling.
Juracich knew Rolling from church, and recalled him saying some disturbing things to her about 'putting knives into backs' and 'watching pretty women'.
After testing the screwdrivers they found in Rolling's woodland camp, they found his blood type - B - matched semen found at the scene of the murders – and the police realised they had their man.
How was Danny Rolling sentenced?
After being charged for multiple murder counts in 1991, Rolling’s trial was delayed – until he confessed to all the murders in 1994 quite suddenly, claiming that he hoped to be as famous as Ted Bundy. He was sentenced to death.
Is Danny Rolling still alive?
Despite a last-ditch attempt of an appeal to the Supreme Court (who rejected the appeal) Rolling was executed by lethal injection in 2006. Shortly before he died, he gave his spiritual advisor a note confessing to all of his murders, before adding an apology for his actions.
Scream will be in cinemas in January 2022.